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22 hours ago, Reconcilor said:

Hi Prop-nut.


I had no idea that Ashburton had a Mig15! I love that museum but haven't been since 2014. Do they have a Strikemaster yet? That was their number one acquisition goal when I was last there.

Hi Reconciler,

Sadly no Strikemaster, but the GR3 is impressive! as are the examples of ergonomic gymnastics (British aircraft cockpits) that they have on display, some rare items for this part of the world, 2 seat Hunter cockpit and B2 Canberra. Also have a 2 seat & single seat Vampire, Provost , BAE Hawk, SkyHawk and some lovely vintage gliders and civil aeroplanes. 

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Did not know they had a Hawk! That's good to know as a Hawk is high on my possible future projects list. That museum is going from strength to strength!

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Canopy Part 8 and Stand Part 3


Still a way to go until this thing looks like the Mig 15 that Van-Roon photographed at Wasmex over the weekend!   The colour scheme on this one is something similar, but I doubt my one will be as tidy. Still about a month's work to go on this one I reckon.


So, carrying on with the Canopy that never ends... trying to cover some ground now so will also aim to get the stand squared away in this post.


I found some 'wood bog' filler at the local hardware store and thought I'd give it a go for filling the last remnant of the gap around the canopy base. That's the red bottle.  It was pretty good stuff but took forever to dry out and never seemed to get quite as hard as I expected it would - certainly doesn't match the hardness of Jarrah, but then nothing ever does...




While I was waiting I added some card plastic details to the interior of the cockpit. Another benefit of using this 'canopy base' method is that it's dead easy to add such details using Evergreen plastic and normal Tamiya thin cement.  There's a very prominent gunsight in a Mig15 and a distinctive panel with seven lightening holes in it behind the pilot so they have both been represented. They look a bit rough in this photo, but as you will see below actually tidied up OK with a lick of metallizer.  After sanding off most of the wood bog, that had finally successfully plugged the gap, I used a bit of PPP to try to smooth out some of the residual rough surfaces, hence all of the oxide red bog is covered in the shot below.




While I was waiting for the bog to set I had slapped a rough coat of white primer on the stand. Sanded it back and stuck a second coat on, thinner and much more carefully the second time around. With MDF you must get a complete coverage of primer, even after sanding - otherwise the furriness of the 'wood' will be highly visible on the finished product.



So following that lick of metallizer paint over the new interior cockpit details and a spray of matt black paint, followed by some clear matt sealer, over the stand - this is where we have got to.



Note that one of the wing fences has been knocked off.  I am entering the dreaded 'three steps forward, two steps backward' phase that seems to occur at the end of each build - every job that gets completed damages something that then needs to be fixed. I tend to find these builds increasingly slow and frustrating towards the end.


By the way, I was re-reading this log and note that in my first posting I was hoping to have this finished by 'early 2017'.  I don't know what constitutes 'early 2017' but I don't think I'm going to hit that target! :think:



Edited by Reconcilor
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nice work.  I like the cockpit detailing.

You might want to look into Milliput as a filler - plenty of working time, and it can be shaped very nicely with wet finger/cotton bud/other implement before it sets so that only a minimum of sanding is required

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For  fillets and non structural gap filling consider Perfect Plastic Putty https://www.deluxematerials.co.uk/en/scale-plastics/87-perfect-plastic-putty-5060243901095.html

lovely stuff to use for gaps between two surfaces, dries fast , sands easily and water clean up.

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Hi prop-nut,


Yes! I have already discovered the delights of perfect plastic putty. That's the 'ppp' in some of the earlier postings. It's great stuff. I was trying out the wood bog because it's allegedly a stronger more structurally sound filler. Jury is still out on this stuff, will give it another more extensive test in a future build. Thanks for the suggestion.👍

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NMF - Part x....whatever...loosing count now!


As keen modellers we all know that the dreaded 'natural metal finish' cannot just be a single flat coat of aluminium - we need some variety in shade and sheen between different panel-lines, control surfaces and so forth. Having looked at a few grainy photos of real Korean war Migs I have concluded three things:

  • The metal is not generally highly polished.
  • The finish is generally quite uniform, with relatively little variation in shades from one panel to the next.
  • There is however, variation to be seen between the general airframe and most access panels and certain other 'specialised' parts of the airframe, such as the airframe near the gun barrels.

So, time to do a bit of spraying with some Testor's magnesium metallizer over a few selected panels, just to add a bit of variation to the scheme. Here's the first bit of magnesium being sprayed and It looks like nothing much is happening. I immediately thought I might need more contrast between the Magnesium and the Aluminium...




but I carried on anyway...



See - not much change really - could be a complete waste of time!



Oh well, too lazy to go back to the shop and get some darker metallizer. Let's just try this and see.



Tried some 'Vallejo' liquid masking for the first time ever. I don't usually use liquid masking but this was to hand so I thought I would give it a try. Also, since some of the panels had been created using the 'half lamination' method discussed earlier I was worried that tape might damage the panel. Liquid masking is nice and gentle. This stuff worked well.


Also did the underside as shown.



Used the same  Metalizer  Aluminium rattle-can that I used for the first coat a couple of months ago to paint the aluminium shade over the whole job (and over my fingers if you look carefully) :yes:



And now for the 'big reveal'...



Oh dear... How did I get that much contrast?!? Thank God I didn't go back to the shop and get something darker!



Decided to lighten up the darkest bits with a gentle overspray of aluminium and call this step done.



Not looking toooooo bad...  but it needs a splash of RED!


Next time I will have a crack at giving this thing some colour.


Best Regards and don't breathe too much overspray.


Edited by Reconcilor
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Looking very nice Reconcilor!  I love the shape of this aircraft and all your work in detailing just adds to it!



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Thanks Sprueloose.

I continue to watch your project with interest.

I have now decided on my next project's subject. Regret to inform you that it is not a Whirlwind. 😦🙁😢

Hope you will follow along anyway!

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Red Nose Day


What seems like a lifetime ago I selected this colour scheme for my Mig. Have a look on page three if you are interested. 

So let's give this thing a red nose.



Before I start though, it might be worth noting that of all the postings in this entire thread this one is probably the one that is least affected by the fact that this is a scratchbuild project - what I am doing here is practically indistinguishable from what would be done on a kitset. Building kitsets is very good practice and preparation for scratchbuilding. The gap between the two respective 'skill sets' may not be as large as many people seem to think.


Furthermore, if you look at the posting directly above this one you will see that I've been talking to Sprueloose. He started his build (and extensive overhaul) of the Trumpeter Westland Whirlwind kit at about the same time that I started this project and we have been essentially 'level-pegging' ever since. He's been putting time into researching, correcting and detailing his kit (to very great effect I must add) while I've just been bashing mine together any old how. So another idea one might be able to challenge is that scratchbuilding is greatly more time consuming than kit building.  It mostly depends how fussy the builder is -  Sprueloose, for example, is definitely a much more diligent builder than I!  :D


Anyway - enough waffle. When masking, if possible I like to start with a thin strip of tape on the masked edge, burnish that down very hard and then work back away from the edge with larger bits of tape and sometimes fluid, silli-putty, play-doh, paper, whatever really...



I'm trying this stuff out for the first time today. it's essentially a roll of Tamiya tape with a wide band of clear plastic sheeting attached on one side. It would be ideal for doing a large flat surface, say the side of a hull of a ship.



it worked OK on this job but I still wasn't absolutely convinced that there were no gaps left - so...



I resorted to putting the entire project inside a shopping bag!  :wink:  No gaps there!  Note the silli-putty masking in the nose.



Here's the weapon of choice - A nice bright Soviet red.



After masking, one should ideally paint a lick of the underlying colour, here aluminium, along the masked edge.  This is because the first paint to hit the edge is the paint that is most likely to bleed under. If you bleed aluminium onto aluminium it's of little consequence, red on aluminium is not desirable.


Anyhow - I forgot to do that!  :think:  Here's the result after the first coat. Let it dry for about half an hour. Two coats are better than one!



Second coat on - looking good.



And here's the result! Even after all of that masking I still managed to get a couple of red spots on the silver somehow. They cleaned up easily enough though with a tiny bit of brushwork and a bit more aluminium paint. 



Here's the underside. Note the dark magnesium skin directly under the nose. It seems a different metal was used here on the original, presumably to withstand the stress of the guns firing.

This photo is taken far too close to the subject - you can see every little wrinkle and flaw! Let's zoom back a bit and apply a '1.00 metre viewing rule'.



Ah, that looks better.



So, red nose day is complete, and I didn't even ask you for any money!

Next time - Decals! (Or maybe I'll finish the stand once and for all).



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Do the Stand


In 1973 Bryan Ferry launched into Roxy Music's second L.P. 'For Your Pleasure'  by extolling that we should 'Do the Strand love - when you feel love'. It seems he felt that 'doing the Strand' was a 'Danceable solution to teenage revolution'.  So, as I am a tragic Roxy Music fan, let's 'Do the Stand'...


Here's where I left it.  It might look complete but there's still a bit to go.  In particular in this photograph our little Mig is just balanced precariously on its stand. One sneeze and it will drop off.



This is a fairly easy thing to fix. Start by drilling two holes in the top of the stand as shown.



Fit a length of carbon fibre into each hole and secure it with two-part epoxy.


Trim the carbon fibre to length.  Note, although carbon fibre might appear to be flexible, wobbly stuff, do not be deceived - it is also very hard. So when cutting it do not use delicate wire cutters designed for cutting copper as you will damage the blades.  Feel free to ask me how I know!  Suffice to say it's probably better to use a razor blade or something else you don't mind damaging. Working with carbon fibre is really good - but it's a material that is unlike anything else I have ever used and I think it will take a bit of getting to know.


Anyhow, this is what the stand looks like when finished. I had the plaque professionally made. it's laser-cut and only cost $18.00. In my view it's well worth spending a bit of money to make the presentation of your models as tidy as possible.



Now we need to drill two matching holes in the base of the Model.  One of the great things about using carbon-fibre for this purpose is that even small diameter rods have great strength, hence the holes drilled in the model can be kept very small. Note the masking tape on the drill, it's there to let me know when the hole has reached the correct depth.



Two small holes on the underside at the same distance apart as the mounting rods on the stand.



Now the model can be mounted on the stand without fear of it falling off...



And the result so far. I'm happy with this!



'For Your viewing Pleasure'.




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She's looking lovely Reconciler , tempting me to have a go at a Macchi floatplane, fairly simple shape, but easy to get wrong.

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7 hours ago, Doug Rogers said:

She's looking lovely Reconciler , tempting me to have a go at a Macchi floatplane, fairly simple shape, but easy to get wrong.

Go on, dare you to! What could go wrong? You should also check out Roadrunner's Savoia S-21.

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Very sweet Reconcilor! Not sure that I merit your earlier comments, I feel that your "bashing" is quite elegantly done!

What are you thinking of doing next?


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4 hours ago, Sprueloose said:

Very sweet Reconcilor! Not sure that I merit your earlier comments, I feel that your "bashing" is quite elegantly done!

What are you thinking of doing next?


What am I thinking of doing next? 

Lying on a beach somewhere and sipping a gin and tonic! 😄 🍸👌

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You certainly know how to make life difficult for yourself,  very nice result! It's nice to see  a build like  this to pick up some real modeling skills from. 

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Decals, and an irreconcilable difference


Following the completion of the stand it is time to put some 'finish' on this thing.


The first step was to lightly buff the metallizer, by giving it light polish with a soft rag. This gives the finish a slightly more metallic sheen. I did a bit of experimenting and found that if taken far enough the metallizer really can be polished to an extremely convincing highly polished metal - but the Mig 15's in Korea never reached that level of polish, so I only 'sharpened it' up a bit. 


As Van Roon pointed out a few pages ago the metallizer now needs to be sealed to prevent it from getting damaged. This is the stuff to use.



Spray it on nice and lightly and evenly. It's clear of course, so there's not much to see in this photo.



Now out with the decals.  Our Mig will be tac number 135.



Once again we see a set-up that would be familiar to any kitset modeller.



There are a plethora of highly detailed markings in this set and they go on absolutely beautifully. Can you see any border trim around the outside of these decals? I can't.



On go the main decals - possibly  a bit garish in hue? But then the North Korean regimes seem to have a taste for garish colours so it might well be correct - at least for new paintwork.


I sprayed another light coat of metallizer sealer over the top to seal them in and here's the result.


It looks OK to my eye... the decals really did behave beautifully - wriggled right down over any detail with no setting solution and just enough wriggle time to get in exactly the right spot.


I am  happy with this outcome - but I think I may have noticed an accuracy issue in these decals that I would like some informed comment on if possible.


It's easiest to explain with a diagram (my apologies for this crude scribble). 


'Sketch one' is drawn from a diagram in Bill Gunston's Encyclopedia of Air Power where he shows a North Korean Roundel with full, continuous, circles around the outside of the star.

'Sketch two' is the version seen on most (all?) photographs of Korean War Migs. Five gaps in the encircling rings aligned with the points of the stars.

'Sketch three' is what's on this decal sheet. Four gaps in the rings set at 90 degrees to one another.


Now I fully accept that version one might be the 'offical roundel' and that version 2 might be used in the field, and that the gaps might be the result of the practical use of a stencil. I can also accept that version 3 might be valid (just another stencil in use on another day?) but, after a 'not very extensive' search of my available references and the internet I cannot find a single example of this 90 degree version.


So - there appears to be an irreconcilable difference between the references and the decals. To be honest I am not really that concerned, but if it is an inaccuracy I know that some people would be very disappointed in a decal set with such a marked error. 


For me it's just a talking point when viewing the model, so if anyone actually knows the answer as to whether this 'four gap' roundel is accurate or not - I would be interested to hear.


Best regards,




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Canopy - Part 9, would you believe!


Nine steps for this canopy! Nine of the stupid things!


Well this is the last one. The canopy is finished and mounted at the end of this post. You beaut!


You might recall that I had a canopy stashed away for possible future use, but when the time came to use it I decided to experiment a bit more with some other bits of plastic just to see if I could improve on it.  I tried a  piece of plastic of a slightly different type, and it worked, first pop! This was the stuff that vac-forming is supposed to be done with! I'm guessing this was my first run with true PETG - but I don't know for sure.    


Nice result; correct shape, no webbing, no clouding and still reasonably strong.




Here it is with the surplus plastic cut away. Note how the vacuum has pulled the plastic down tight onto even the concave curves.



Now I removed the plastic and drafted the locations of the canopy framing onto the mould.



Here is the mould fully marked up.



Now I fitted the canopy back over the mould and used '3M Scotchcal Electrocut film' to simulate canopy framing where-ever the mark-up indicated.



If you have not come across 'Electrocut Film' here's the deal. The writing on computer-cut signs is often cut from this self-adhesive material. It comes in a very wide variety of colours and finishes. If you know anyone with access to offcuts of this material get some! In this case I have been very fortunate because my very limited supply included some aluminium colour which matched the fuselage almost perfectly - so no painting required.


Here I am marking up the framing for use around the armoured windscreen.  



And here's the result. The joins that you can see between each length of film (say for example at the top of the windscreen) were latter filled and camouflaged with a few tiny licks of Aluminium coloured paint.



And now here's the canopy finished and affixed to model.  In the end, fitting it to the model was a simple exercise. The canopy just clipped on to the 'canopy base' as previously discussed and permanently affixed with two part epoxy.




Paint on! Decals on! Canopy on! 



Just about ready for the final push to the finish line!




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Just seen this!....a great great achievement!........brilliant skills...right up my alley in the scratch built department!....looking forward to seeing it finished! .

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Thanks Fozzy,

Have been watching your B17G advance with much interest! Will not try to match your dedication for detailing which is simply awesome. 👍

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